Naked - Naked (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Naked (2009)


Would it be weird to describe a band as "instrumental screamo"? Because listening to the self-titled album from this French trio, it's really all I can think. I mean, it does say in the one-sheet that the band is influenced by, among other subgenres, emocore, so it can't be far off.

"I" does start off with a more Celtic-folky acoustic guitar melody, but then there's a few electric pounds--which, admittedly, a more bass-y production could better pronounce--and then some dancing octaves that will probably remind you of a restrained moment from any European screamo act circa the 2000s. Aside from a few effective drum rolls, the song seems to largely follow this pattern, going from moderate stomps to lighter, more building chords.

Despite the grayness of the artwork generally matching the vibe of this release, "II" is actually a little more upbeat and hopeful. I still think the recording really hampers the potential of the band's songwriting, though, and the snuff applied here is really no different.

"III" has some of the better climaxes of the whole album, though; if you've got this going as background music (which it admittedly seems best served as), the modest peaks of the song where the guitars and drums coalesce into a steady fit should definitely grab your attention. The rest of the album is a little innocuous, while closer "VI" has some climaxes that largely sound a lot like the ones on "III."

This isn't a bad release, but it does drift by often without grabbing me too much. What the band's doing is fairly solid, though, and could maybe be strengthened by a better recording and some real branching out, whether that be in terms of guitar tones, louder/softer structures or even throwing in a vocal line here or there.